Horseradish contains glucosinolates (ex. isothiocyanate), potent phytonutrients promoting synthesis of compounds that fight cancer and suppress synthesis of compounds fueling cancer cell growth. Research suggests effects come not from isothiocyanate alone, but from synergistic action with other vegetables containing isothiocyanate. Also linked with increasing blood flow in infected areas and increasing liver’s ability to detoxify. Many people use its antimicrobial properties as remedy for cold, flu and fever. Here’s how: Blend or grind up tablespoon of fresh horseradish and add to boiling water. Steep for about 5 minutes. Drink this brew 2-3 times per day for fever relief. Can be an effective nasal decongestant by adding to food or eating straight. (Watch out for strong taste.) Excellent source of vitamin C and a little fiber. Small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin and Mineral Content
Vitamins – C and B9 (Folate)
Minerals – Potassium, Manganese and Magnesium
Horseradish may reduce the risk or onset of prostate cancer (and potentially many others from isothiocyanate action) and infections leading to coughs, colds, flu and urinary tract infections.
How to Grow
Be careful. While this perennial root crop can be grown for a fantastic fish and meat sauce, it can proliferate beyond control. A crucifer like broccoli and cabbages, it prefers rich, water retentive soil. Digging deeply to loosen soil allows roots to grow thick and straight down several feet. In early spring, plant root pieces with the thinner end down and the thicker end 3-4 inches below surface. Space plants 1 foot apart and rows 4 feet apart. Horseradish spreads rapidly by its roots and fills void in no time. To harness its growth, dig up all roots each year and replant only a select few. Or let it grow in an area where space is plentiful and nothing is adjacent. Or grow in container or embed a pot/bucket in soil to block roots from spreading out. Not invasive. When horseradish gets established, it usually stays the same size. Once planted, water to keep soil moist. Hot summer days require more watering, but make sure to water well in late summer and early fall when they grow the most. Harvest a few young spring leaves to add to salads. Roots are ready to harvest in fall (October-November). Quite hardy. If not harvested, will sprout again in spring.
Very resilient. No pest problems that threaten production or plant life.
Can be companion planted next to potatoes to repel Colorado potato beetles.